Joint call to MEPs to protect the strength of the BECA report during plenary vote

On the occasion of World Cancer Day and ahead of the plenary vote on the report developed by the BECA committee expected on 15 February, eleven European health organisations call on MEPs to adopt the report with no weakening of its recommendations on cancer prevention

In a joint letter initiated by ECDA, the organisations express again their continued support to the report of the special committee on “Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer” and ask MEPs to adopt it without compromising its content.

It is of long-term importance that the report maintain its level of ambition and strong language, in particular when it comes to the main, well-known and preventable risk factors of cancer and other major chronic diseases.

Every year in Europe, millions of deaths and lost years of “healthy” life are attributable to alcohol consumption, tobacco use, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and air pollution, responsible for cancer and other major chronic diseases. There is no safe level of alcohol consumption, exposure to tobacco, nor to poor air quality. It is our shared duty to put in place all measures to ensure that our current and future generations are protected from the dramatic impact of these modifiable risk factors, which present a considerable health and economic challenge; and underlie health inequalities.

One of the key learnings of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it is high time to efficiently promote and protect public health; and put Europeans’ health and wellbeing first and above commercial interests.

Health is a fundamental right embedded in the EU treaties, specifically in article 168 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and a collective responsibility within the European Union. It is the backbone of strong and sustainable economies and societies.

The promise of the Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to reduce suffering caused by cancer and other chronic diseases – including cancer co-morbidities and complications – must not be compromised.


  • Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS)
  • Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL)
  • European Alcohol Policy Alliance (Eurocare)
  • European Chronic Disease Alliance (ECDA)
  • European Institute of Women’s Health (EIWH)
  • European Public Health Alliance (EPHA)
  • European Public Health Association (EUPHA)
  • EuroHealthNet
  • Oral Health Foundation
  • Smoke Free Partnership
  • Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE)